R240. From Best Friends Forever to Toxic Bonds: Digging Deep into Complex Female Friendships in Young Adult Literature

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Five YA authors from debut to established discuss the complex, three-dimensional friendships that populate their work: Blurred boundaries between friendship and obsession; shattered friend groups; lasting friendships tested by difficult new relationships; girls from diverse backgrounds uniting to fight misogynist culture. Panelists discuss one another’s work and the choices that have inspired theirs when writing fiercely good and withstanding to fiercely fraught and destructive teen friendships.



Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. She edits the chapbook series for Black Lawrence Press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. Kit holds an MFA from Syracuse University, and her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars.

Amy Reed is the author of eight contemporary YA novels, including Beautiful, Clean, and her most recent, The Nowhere Girls, about three misfit girls who start a movement to avenge the rape of a classmate and fight the misogynist culture at their school.

Marcy Beller Paul still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade and knows how to fold them. She graduated from Harvard University and worked as an editor before writing her debut novel, Underneath Everything.

Anica Mrose Rissi is a former Executive Editor in children's book publishing and the author of several books for young readers. Her essays have been published by The Writer and The New York Times. Always Forever Maybe is her YA debut.

Sarah Nicole Smetana is the author of The Midnights. She received her BFA in creative writing from Chapman University and her MFA in fiction from The New School. Originally from Orange, California, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three-legged cat.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center